National & International

Reaching out across Britain 
and around the world 
- the V&A is working with  
museums, scholars, 
collectors and supporters 
to open eyes to our unique 
programme of contemporary 
and historical exhibitions. 
We hope to reveal the power 
of art and design to bring 
pleasure and enjoyment to 
ever larger and more 
diverse audiences. 
    'This new era in the partnership offers a fantastic opportunity to continue to share some of the UK's finest exhibitions with the people of Sheffield and beyond.' Nick Dodd, Chief Executive, Museums Sheffield   Right - top to bottom: The Jameel Prize opening, Riyadh.

Opening of 'Indian Life and Landscape by Western Artists:
Paintings and Drawings from the V&A 1790-1927', Hyderabad.

'The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957',
Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Le Salon (2009) by Hassan Hajjaj, an installation in
The Jameel Prize, Riyadh.

Established relationships with national and international centres continue. This year the V&A and Museums Sheffield renewed their ten-year partnership for a further five years under a memorandum of understanding. Two of the V&A's most successful exhibitions toured to Sheffield in 2009: 'Treasures from the V&A 400-1600 AD' and the contemporary show 'Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft', which attracted the highest number of visitors ever for a contemporary art exhibition at the Millennium Gallery.

Many relationships with organisations throughout England and Wales develop through the Purchase Grant Fund (PGF) administered by the V&A. Despite a 10% budget cut, the PGF enabled 96 organisations to make 161 acquisitions in 2009/10. V&A curators shared their expertise, advising on 120 cases, including a textile design by Ben Nicholson (1933) and a Hanukah lamp (1709).

Exciting new relationships have evolved with Dundee and Blackpool, fulfilling the V&A's aims to share its collections and knowledge with new audiences, and boost local regeneration.

Right: Example of a piece of work from the 'Design for Life' project, V&A.

V&A at Dundee

On 11 January 2010 an international architectural competition was announced for a major new 21st-century Scottish design centre, the V&A at Dundee, planned to open in 2014. The new centre is being delivered by a partnership between the V&A, the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise. It will bring V&A exhibitions and programmes to Dundee with the aim of fostering the growth of a hub for creative design in the city.

V&A at Blackpool

The V&A is working with Blackpool Council to open an exhibition centre in 2013. Blackpool remains Britain's most popular tourist destination and this venue will host shows with appeal for families and tourists. The proposed site is on the new headland next to the iconic Blackpool Tower and will have the capacity for outdoor festivals for up to 20,000 people.

Learning and research partnerships

Education initiatives solidify the V&A's strong relationships with regional museums. The V&A-led Government-funded 'Design for Life' project focuses on using museum

Example of a piece of work from the 'Design for Life' project

collections to engage young people in creative design. During the pilot phase (2008-9) partner museums worked with young people to research and test design-based learning programmes. Museums Sheffield, for example, used their celebrated flatware collection to inspire enthusiasm for design. The results of the 'Design for Life' pilot projects were exhibited at the V&A (26 April-8 June 2010), accompanied by a conference.

The V&A regularly takes part in national and international exchanges. For example, the Nehru Trust funds annual exchanges between British and Indian scholars, coordinated by the V&A. This year's recipients included Dr B K Sahay from the National Museum of India and V&A curator Helen Persson. This productive exchange allowed specialists from the two institutions to examine and research collections that have a common origin.

Indian Life and Landscape by Western Artists: Paintings and Drawings from the V&A 1790-1927

Supported by the World Collections Programme, this show of 93 Western works depicting the architecture, landscape and people of India was the first V&A exhibition to tour India. The tour (8 December 2008-23

May 2010) has developed promising relationships with the six venues which included the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, and Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad. As part of the project, V&A curators, conservators, co-ordinators, technicians and an educator spent over 20 weeks in India sharing expertise with local staff. Over 550,000 visitors flocked to see the show.

The Jameel Prize 2009

The Jameel Prize is a new biennial international art prize for contemporary work inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. Launched by the V&A, the Prize is supported by Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel and draws on the successes of the V&A's Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art. The first prize was awarded to Iranian-born New York artist Afruz Amighi on 7 July 2009. Twenty-four works from Amighi and the other eight short-listed artists and designers were shown at the V&A (8 July-13 September 2009) before touring the Middle East, supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Services Programs. The tour began at the National Museum, Riyadh (23-30 January 2010). It is the first time the V&A has worked in Saudi Arabia.

Left - top to bottom: 'Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970', Vilnius

'Central Asian Ikats from the Rau Collection',
Azerbaijan State Museum of Art, Baku

'The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London
1947-1957', Hong Kong Heritage Museum

'Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970', Vilnius

Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970

The Cold War provided the context for this 'magnificent exhibition' (Tom Dyckhoff, The Times) of modern art, design, architecture and film. Incorporating 250 objects from 48 lenders, Cold War Modern was shown at the National Gallery of Art, Vilnius (2 October-6 December 2009). It was appropriately the first V&A exhibition to travel to Lithuania, a country that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. The exhibition helped to secure the title of European Capital of Culture 2009 for Vilnius. The National Gallery hopes that bringing Cold War Modern to Vilnius will precipitate further research into Baltic Art and Design of the period.

The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957

The postwar elegance and glamour projected by French and British couturiers, starting with the impact of Christian Dior's New Look, was explored in this highly acclaimed V&A exhibition. This year it toured to Hong Kong Heritage Museum (29 May-28 September 2009) and the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (4 February-25 April 2010). This is the first time the V&A has collaborated with these venues and further projects are planned.

Central Asian Ikats from the Rau Collection

Ikat is a style of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on threads which are woven to create a dramatic, colourful pattern. Production of luxury Ikat clothes and hangings for the home boomed during the 19th-century expansion of Central Asian countries, and remains a strong tradition today. Pip Rau is a leading collector of Central Asian and Afghan textiles and jewellery and owns one of the best collections of this material in the world. As part of the cultural celebration of Baku's designation of Islamic Capital of Culture 2009, this exhibition toured to the Azerbaijan State Museum of Art, Baku (5 November 2009-3 March 2010). It was the first time the country had hosted a major international exhibition.

International trading

Through V&A Enterprises (VAE), the V&A's trading company, the V&A brand reaches a broad audience worldwide. Its shops offer over 4000 product lines from over 400 suppliers, and achieve the highest spend per visitor in the sector. On-line trading is up 51% since 2009, sales which combine with VAE's licensing and trade activities to deliver the highest off-site sales too. The European Licensing Awards declared the V&A winner of 'Best International Licensed Property' 2009.

In addition to its merchandising and brand success, VAE incorporates a successful publishing arm and also makes images freely available for non-commercial use.

V&A Channel

The Museum's web presence has increased this year with the launch in March 2010 of a new on-line film magazine relating to all aspects of the V&A, V&A Channel. The channel takes the philosophy of the printed V&A magazine to a global digital audience. Films feature V&A collections and exhibitions, profiles of leading designers and artists, and Museum news.